Forrester: IT staff must become like ‘teachers’ to business

The IT department will need to be equipped with teaching skills if they want to be of value to businesses of the future, according to Forrester.

Speaking to Computerworld UK ahead of Forrester’s Enterprise Architecture (EA) Forum EMEA 2011, EA research director Alex Cullen said that as businesses strive for greater speed and agility, and technology becomes easier for the business to procure, IT will no longer be the first point of call.

“Business people will be able to take advantage of cloud services without involving IT. They will need people to help them think about how to do it,” he said.

This is where IT staff can demonstrate their value to the business.

“IT will teach business to procure in a reliable, scalable and secure way. Organisations will probably want staff based on their ability to teach,” said Cullen.

“It’s a big shift because people will think about the business first, and the technology second.”

Cullen also believes that the IT department will become smaller, and while they will stay technical, their skills will be more focused on integration and sourcing capabilities.

“Change won’t happen in the legacy applications – they will happen around them. IT will have to integrate those things, but they won’t be the sole technology source,” he said.

A key message from the Forrester Forum will be that the role of the enterprise architect in a decade’s time will split in half, with one part remaining in IT in the way that is described above, and the other part moving into the business.

Cullen said this could lead to the creation of a new business role, such as head of planning and innovation.

He added: “The technology architecture will stay in IT and the business aspects of applications and information will move into the business.”

Forrester’s Enterprise Architecture (EA) Forum EMEA 2011 is taking place in London on March 15-16, 2011.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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